Giant Beetle Robot: Hitoshi Takahashi’s Mechanical Rhinoceros Beetle Is 36 Feet Long And Shoots Steam From Its Horn [VIDEO]

By Philip Ross on September 5, 2013 1:50 PM EDT

giant beetle 1
Japan's giant robot beetle shoots steam from its horn. (Photo: YouTube/Screenshot)
giant beetle 2
The giant robot beetle looks like something straight out of “Transformers.” (Photo: YouTube/Screenshot)

A giant beetle robot is making waves all over the world after its creator, 67-year-old Hitoshi Takahashi, unveiled the steam-breathing mega beast to the Japanese public. The robotic creature weighs 17 tons, is 36 feet long and has two diesel engines that power all its 30 moving parts. The giant beetle robot, called KABUTOM RX-03, is what android nightmares are made of.

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And you thought Godzilla was terrifying?

Fortunately, the giant robot beetle, fashioned to resemble a Japanese rhinoceros beetle, isn't the fastest arthropod out there; the 6-legged robotic creature moves at a snail's pace of just 2.5 MPH, according to Laughing Squid. So you won't have to run away in terror if you see this thing lumbering down your street. The robot can even carry up to seven passengers on its back at a time - although we don't suggest trying to run errands with it. 

It's creator, Hitoshi Takahashi, owns a machine shop in Ibaraki Prefecture, located in the Kanto region of Japan's main island of Honshu, a place known for its fermented soybeans and watermelons (add giant robot beetle to that list).

Takahashi invested 11 years into building his giant beetle robot. Japan Daily Press reports that it was his dream to build the buggy android for a long time, and when he turned 50, in 1997, he vowed to make that dream a reality.

"I did it as a hobby, while still maintaining my regular work schedule," Takahashi told Rocket News 24

Takahashi's giant robot beetle isn't the first Japanese android to gain international attention. In June, engineers revealed Kirobo, the world's first a talking robot astronaut who can recognize human faces. Kirobo was created to be a companion to astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

IScience Times reported that Kirobo was developed as a joint project between Toyota, the University of Tokyo and the company Robo Garage. His creators hope he'll be more than just a novelty. They envision the robot eventually being used to converse with lonely or isolated people here on Earth.

Perhaps a giant beetle robot could provide the same level of companionship? That is, if it doesn't squash the person first.

Here's a video of the giant robotic beetle as seen on YouTube:

Read more from iScience Times:

'Kirobo' Talking Robot Astronaut Makes Historic Trip To International Space Station, Aids Human Astronaut Kochi Wakata [VIDEO]

DARPA Unveils Atlas, A Humanoid Robot Designed For Rescue Missions [VIDEO]

Japan's Kirobo, World's First Talking Robot Astronaut, To Launch In August [VIDEO]

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